The defending US Open champion Carlos Alcaraz swept the floor with South Africa’s Lloyd Harris early Friday morning (SA time).
Alcaraz finished with Harris 6-3, 6-1 and 7-6 in New York in two hours and 28 minutes.
The latest victory means that Alcaraz is only two wins away from a possible reunion with the Italian Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Sinner has already defeated his compatriot Lorenzo Sonego 6-4, 6-2 and 6-4.
Last year, Alcaraz and Sinner battled it out in five sets in the quarterfinals; it is recorded as the last match to end in US Open history.
However, after both tennis players’ latest performances, few would bet on a repeat of last year’s quarter-finals in this year’s quarter-finals.
“I think I played a great game from start to finish,” Alcaraz said after his match against Harris.
The 22-year-old Sinner meanwhile looks like he is firing on all cylinders if you look at his performance in the second round. The Italian conceded only 10 points in his match against Sonego and did not even give his countryman a chance for a single break point in the match of two hours and five minutes.
Sinner will face 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the third round on Saturday. The 38-year-old Wawrinka showed earlier that he still can, when he beat Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (7/9), 6-3 and 6-2.
Germany’s 12th seed Alexander Zverev may also stand in Sinner’s way before a meeting with Alcaraz in the quarter-finals. Zverev booked his place in the third round after eliminating his compatriot Daniel Altmaier 7-6 (7/1), 3-6, 6-4 and 6-3.
Also in Alcaraz’s way is 2021 champion Daniil Medvedev, who reached the third round by 69th seed Christopher O’Connell of Australia 6-2, 6-2, 6-7 (6/8) and 6-2 eliminate.
Medvedev looked to be on his way to a comfortable victory before a turnaround by O’Connell forced the match to a fourth set.
“A difficult match,” Medvedev said.
“I don’t know why, but he suddenly started playing much better. I don’t know what the reason was, but it became much more difficult for me.”
Medvedev will face Argentina’s Sebastian Baez on Saturday for a place in the last round of 16.